Florida

First Coast health departments roll out monkeypox vaccine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The First Coast is reporting more cases of monkeypox.

Duval County has six, with one confirmed and five considered probable. That’s up from two cases two weeks ago.

There’s one probable case in Flagler County, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. None of our other local counties, including in Georgia, have a confirmed case.

“Ideally, we want to contain this, control it and stop it,” said Dr. Chirag Patel.

He’s the Assistant Chief Medical Officer for UF Health Jacksonville. He says monkeypox is a contagious disease that is more prevalent in gay and bisexual men through skin to skin contact.

“Be aware of concerning signs and symptoms of a potential sex partner, especially a combination of fever, swollen lymph nodes ad skin lesions,” Dr. Patel told First Coast News. “If any of those are present, my recommendation is to avoid physical contact until that person has recovered.”

The Duval County Health Department has vaccines available and is prioritizing certain groups. More information can be found here.

In Glynn County, Georgia, a vaccine roll-out starts Friday to those who meet certain criteria.

Patel urges you to continue the same safe health practices you used during COVID.

“Washing your hands, avoiding people who might be sick. Those are the things we’ve been doing with COVID that you want to do with monkeypox,” he said.

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